Reality: It Isn't Always What It Seems

01/18/2011 07:24 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

There is rejoicing in our house over the repeal of DADT. Ours isn't the only one.

The thing that strikes me about it is that there were serious doldrums over the midterm elections in our house. Ours wasn't the only one then, either. We're liberals, and when the Republicans won their semi-sweep over the House, it was legitimate cause for lamentation.

There is a Taoist story that offers some illumination here:

An old farmer had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. "Such bad luck," they said sympathetically.

"Maybe," the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. "How wonderful," the neighbors exclaimed.

"Maybe," replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

"Maybe," answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son's leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

"Maybe," said the farmer.

Perhaps a variation on the story will help.

The obstreperous Republicans came up in the world of our government. "Oh, such bad luck," said the liberals.


Those same Republicans had vowed to gridlock all legislation prior to the election. "Such bad luck," said the liberals.


Those same Republicans have to step up and run the government now because they are in power. "Such bad luck," mourned the liberals.


In fact, there is a new, somewhat dubious tax bill that has been approved in this lame duck session of Congress. "Such good luck," said the Republicans.

"Maybe," say the liberals.

Congress met on a weekend (shock and awe -- Congress working overtime!) to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." "Such good luck," said everyone.

"Definitely," say the citizens.

Reality isn't always what it seems, dear one. When you are tempted to lament or exclaim over good and bad luck, consider saying, "Maybe," and wait to see what happens.

It will always surprise you.

For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso's website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook.